Something truly remarkable and profound has happened and I am currently brimming with enthusiasm and buoyed with the thought I am on the right path. It was two little things actually, two little blips of heartbeats in a lifetime’s worth. In the grand scheme of things they would be considered very little but to me they have provided a little glimpse of what is possible, a little taste of an, at the moment anyway, imperceptible cake. And they are thanks to a work colleague and my nearest sister.
The work colleague is someone who just started their job with the same company I work for a few months ago but is someone the old me used to know fairly well. He wasn’t what some people might call a ‘dealer’, just a friend of a friend who, on a few occasions, would have pointed me in the right direction to get some marijuana. Until he started working in the same place I didn’t even know his surname. He’s a young man in his mid 20’s who, like I once did, smokes the dreaded weed. (By the way I don’t think marijuana is a bad drug, quite the opposite, but I do think that for anyone who smokes habitually for no other reason than pleasure or to relieve boredom then it is a problem).
The thing is he approached me a few weeks back to tell me he had a conversation with his mother about yours truly. He was telling her about the fact that I had been smoking for over 20 years and that I had just stopped. It wasn’t just that though, he had remarked to her how healthy I was now looking and that I just seemed to be filled with such energy and positivity. In fact he had become so impressed with my transformation that it inspired him to quit too!
As soon as I heard that I sang his praises. Seeking to further inspire him in making such a great decision. In fact these days that’s what I consciously try to do. Inspire, elevate, get the most out of life. I reinforced to him that he is lucky to have reached that decision at such a young age and that he will be so thankful in the months and years ahead. I even gave him my phone number and told him that if at any time he is feeling weak and having the urge to smoke to just call me first, which he has done, and I will be happy to take that call. He’s still going strong now, and even though it is early days I believe he can do it.
My sister, who is 3 years older than me, has always been a source of strength for me. She was the one I cried to over the telephone in the months following my separation and has always been there for me. She quit smoking cigarettes a few years back and has been steadily exercising since then. She even got a coaching qualification and was training and playing with her hometown’s cricket team.
Just last weekend we were talking on the phone and she said she was thinking about starting a ‘couch to 5k’ running course. She had mentioned this to some other family members who were quite negative about the whole thing, as family members can often times be, and was having doubts. I on the other hand am done with such bad vibes and told her to push on, and push hard.
By the time she was off the phone she was fired up. A few hours later she had her poster designed. A few hours after that she had been posting on Facebook and Instagram and had managed to get more people signed up that she had even expected.
The first session was on Monday. I got a call from her before she set out for it. The nervousness and worry were setting in. Some family members had been annoying her about it earlier in the day and that was playing on her mind also. She had called me to lift her spirits and help her to believe what she needed to believe. She had me on speaker phone and at one point her daughter was laughing at me. Not in an ‘uncle Chris is crazy’ type of way. She was laughing because my energy, my belief, my positivity, had made her happy, made her mum happy, and by the time she hung up the phone she was raring to go.
Reflecting on both these things, helping a work colleague and my sister, has made me realise something very important. I am not even a year into being a better me, not even a year on working on my physical and mental strength, but I am starting to see the signs, the effect, that having a good mental attitude can bring. Not just for me, but for the people I come into contact with. The beauty of it all is that anyone can do this. Not just anyone, but everyone. If we all tried that little bit harder, became that little bit more aware of the effect our words and actions have on others, then maybe, just maybe, we can make this world a much better place, and not just for ourselves, but for everyone.
So today, even whilst I still have my hang-ups and self-doubt, I am sending my love, my happiness, my positivity, to each and every one of you. So inspire yourself and be that inspiration that others might need. It’s our duty to each other. We’ve all got this folks.